For many elderly people, their landline acts as a vital link with the outside world. It is worrying, then, that reports show that almost half of all calls to elderly and vulnerable users come from cold callers and so-called "spoofed" numbers. Over a million Britons have been put on "sucker lists" by these unscrupulous callers, who then bombard them with an average of 150 nuisance calls every month.
These figures come courtesy of call blocking provider Truecall, who have handed the stats over to local councils in a bid to tackle this cold calling epidemic. More worryingly, they found that 20% of such calls come from an international number. This means that those callers aren't covered by UK laws concerning cold calls- so there's nothing that the government can do to stop them.
Spoofed Calls Are On The Rise, Too
Even more worryingly, the number of calls from spoofed numbers is also on the rise. Cold callers know that few people will pick up if they see an international number. After all, when was the last time you got a call from abroad that turned out to be genuine? However, by using VoIP, they are able to alter the number that comes up on victims' caller ID. Instead of their real number, they will often display a UK mobile number. This makes vulnerable people much more likely to pick up, since they think they have a real call coming in. But it's not just the elderly who are tricked this way. Most of us don't know each other's mobile numbers off by heart, either. Realistically, anyone could be tricked by a spoofed number. The only way to find out if it's a genuine call is to pick up- by which point, the cold callers have got what they are after.
As of 2016, any companies who carry out direct marketing are legally required to display their real phone number. Those who don't face fines from OFCOM of up to £2 million. Again, though, these laws only cover those operating from within the UK. Any callers from abroad are effectively free to spoof their numbers without any consequences. This is obviously very frustrating for those who find themselves on the receiving end of such calls. Thankfully, though, there is a solution.
There's Never Been A Better Time to Invest in a Call Blocking Phone
You don't need to unplug your landline phone to get away from cold callers- or spend a fortune on standalone call blocking equipment. At liGo, we have a wide selection of cordless phones with built-in call blocking. Some of these allow you to block specific numbers or prefixes, while others offer automatic protection against all nuisance calls. They also allow you to set times when the phone will only ring for VIP numbers. So, no more being woken up first thing by a recorded message on the other end of the line. With cold calling on the rise, there has never been a better time to invest in a call blocking phone- and that's especially true for elderly and vulnerable people.
If you'd like to learn more about our call blocking phones, and see which option is best for you, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly. We'll be more than happy to help!